Thursday, January 17, 2008

No Fences in Massai Land

While in Tanzania Africa last summer I spent some time with Massai tribe. There were a few things I really enjoyed seeing in Tanzania:

- There was no racism anywhere! People were simply people and they didn’t do a lot of judging there. They knew I wasn’t human and they accepted that without question.

- There were no fences anywhere! That was freakin’ weird. In the good old “land of the free” USA we fence everything. We’d put a fence around our fence if we thought it needed it. Sometimes we have multiple kinds of fences put together. Fences basically say “this is mine, stay the hell out”. It was quite refreshing to hang out in an environment where you could literally walk anywhere and live anywhere. Out in Massai country they don’t have neighborhoods that look like the grid board of a Battleship game. They don’t take the public bus to go somewhere, they walk across the Serengeti directly to it.

With such a simple life and not a lot of poverty in Tanzania, you’d think they would live to a nice old age with all the stress free living. But they don’t; they’ve still got some back-assward tribal traditions going on there:

- They still do forced marriages; men at fifteen, women at 13. Good grief. Most people aren’t mature enough at 30 for marriage let alone early teens.

- Circumcisions are mandatory for both sexes. Men because it’s a “becoming a man” tradition and is done pretty much manually and barbarically. Ouch! Women to remove their pleasure from having sex so that they won’t sleep around. Ok, I know, double-ouch and not a lot of women’s rights in their community. Hey, remember…don’t shoot me, I’m just the storyteller!

- Once you are married, the bride must immediately build a house while the groom hangs out tending the cattle. I like this tradition! Could you make that a nice Colonial?

- When you see what looks like a little village it’s actually just one guy with a whole lot of wives. Is the guy hung like a horse or something? Nope, it’s simply that he has more cattle than the average guy. That’s why I’ve been buying up cattle lately. They keep the grass down and now I too can have multiple partners to drive me crazy!

ps - I may not have internet access until Monday....I'll be skiing in Sun Valley, Idaho. If there is access though...then you'll have to put up with my nonsense daily otherwise see you in future blogdom!

12 comments:

Marie said...

My husband is always after me to move into a cave in Utah so he can get a second wife. And he doesn't even have one cow! The nerve!

Theresa said...

If the Massai women get no pleasure, why should they care if their husband is hung like a horse or like a baby carrot? I can see how it's the cattle that matter in that society (Boy am I glad I don't live there, fences or not).

Jeff said...

Did I know you went to Africa last year? I don't remember getting the memo on that.

Did you climb Mt. Kilimanjaro?

Nessa said...

My husband has enough problems with the one wife he has; D

GC said...

the one thing about cows is that they poop everywhere--and not little pellets either

Serena Joy said...

Nice place to visit, wouldn't want to live there. Sounds like it's no place for women.

Have a great ski trip!

Kurt said...

There were no fences in my neighborhood in Michigan when I was a kid. The Maasai aren't so special, after all.

Matt-Man said...

Enjoy the skiing, and the cattle rustling. Cheers!!

amarilla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
amarilla said...

Is there an inverse relationship between the abundance of circumcision and the lack of fences?

VE said...

marie - Dear cowless in Utah, that is a lot of nerve!

theresa - Good point. If you move there, build a fence!

jeff - Yep, went to Africa for awhile, then Aruba and Venezuala, then Dominican Republic. As my friends say...."I get around." I hope they meant travel....

nessa - Good point. The Massai must be strong...or stupid.

gc - Well...we've got Astranaut diaper technology now...

sj - Actually, the country government has condemned the practice but the fellow I spoke to says that its hard to break tribal traditions.

kurt - I guarantee you had road with right/left turns and options. The Massai do not; their trails go exactly to where they want to get to. I guess Michigan isn't so special after all

matt-man - Thanks. It's hard to rustle cattle when you're carving powder but I'll try

amarilla - Interesting notion. I'd put a fence around my dick before I'd entertain that notion!

amarilla said...

A fence around your dick, that would be circumscription. And uncomfortable.